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It's been six years since a federal three-judge court ordered California to drastically reduce its prison population and four years since the Supreme Court affirmed that ruling. At the time, the order brought cries that there would be "blood in the streets" if state prison populations were reduced.

Of course, California didn't just open the prison gates and let inmates walk free. Instead, it instituted a realignment program, moving prisoners from state to local jails, and adopted changes to "tough on crime" laws. Since then, a new report shows, crime has continued to drop, while 18,000 inmates have been removed from California prisons.

When it comes to protecting animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn't monkey around. Their message is simple: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." Oh, and they should have access to intellectual property rights, too. Yep, according to a PETA lawsuit in San Francisco, animals should have the ability to copyright works they create.

In particular, PETA is looking to have a macaque monkey who took a world-famous selfie declared copyright owner of the photos. You remember the photos -- the ones taken when an Indonesian monkey named Naruto grabbed nature photographer David Slater's unattended camera, smiled, and began posing for the camera. Slater threatened to sue Wikipedia when they published the photo and now PETA is suing Slater, arguing that Naruto should be declared the photo's author -- and that PETA should administer the profits from the photo on the monkey's behalf.

Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen granted class status to a group of drivers suing Uber. The drivers allege that Uber misclassifies them as independent contractors when they are in fact employees and entitled to employee benefits.

While the ruling itself is news worthy (we covered it here), so too was Judge Chen's handling of the lawyers, indicating that neither Uber nor the drivers have an easy road ahead of them.

Incarceration is no good for families. For parents, one of the worst parts of a prison sentence is being separated from one's children. For kids, incarceration can lead to stress, developmental delays, and financial and emotional trauma. In such situations, incarceration can injure the families of offenders "as much as, and sometimes more than, offenders themselves," according to studies.

Recognizing the problems caused by incarcerating offenders with minor children, California created an Alternative Custody Program in 2010. California's ACP program allows participants to spend a portion of their sentence outside of prison, maintaining contact with their children. The program, previously limited to mothers, must now be made available to all eligible inmates, a federal court has ruled.

California will strictly limit its use of solitary confinement in prisons, the state announced on Tuesday. The changes are expected to greatly reduce the number of inmates held in isolation. Currently, inmates are often kept in small, windowless cells for 22 hours a day, often suffering severe psychological distress as a result.

The changes come as part of a settlement to a landmark class action lawsuit brought by prisoners. Those prisoners had been held in solitary confinement for 10 years or longer in Pelican Bay State Prison, near the Oregon border.

Are traumatized students disabled students, entitled to extra help and accommodations in schools? Yes, according to a new lawsuit brought by students and teachers against Compton Unified School District.

The class action lawsuit, which has its first hearing today, alleges that students exposed to trauma through violence, family disruption, discrimination, and extreme stress are disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and are entitled to the same benefits and accommodations afforded students with more widely recognized learning disabilities.

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order to prevent an anti-abortion group from releasing more videos of employees in a California company which provides fetal tissue to researchers. Those videos, made of hidden camera footage, purport to show Planned Parenthood and StemExpress employees discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue for research, or, as the videos' creators term it, an "illegal baby parts trade."

The videos, released by the Center for Medical Progress, have been widely condemned as deceptive and misleading. Following the California court's order, no more videos of StemExpress employees will be released, though the Center for Medical Progress says it will continue to release other videos not affected by the order.

The California Supreme Court ruled against comedian, Jello-spokesperson, and alleged serial sexual offender Bill Cosby last Wednesday. The court rejected Cosby's attempt to block a sexual battery lawsuit by Judy Huth. Huth's lawsuit alleges that the comedian molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15 years old.

Cosby could soon be deposed under oath, following the ruling. That's certainly not something the Cosby team is looking forward to, given the damaging revelations from a recently discovered deposition.

California cheerleaders have a new reason to cheer today after Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill guaranteeing basic employee rights for cheerleaders. The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, herself a former cheerleader, comes after a series of lawsuits by professional cheerleaders who alleged they often worked without pay or even simple employment protections.

It's not just cheerleaders who will benefit. In a nod to team spirit, the legislation will also protect professional mascots, from the Giant's Lou Seal to the L.A. Clipper's Frankie Muniz.

Oh how the tides have turned. California, once a bastion for anti-vaccination activists, adopted one of the toughest vaccination laws in the country this week. On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the new legislation, which requires all children attending public schools to be vaccinated against polio, measles, hepatitis B and other preventable diseases.

Importantly, the law removes exemptions based personal and religious objections to vaccination. Currently, more than 80,000 students escape vaccination under personal belief exemptions. Vaccination opponents have vowed to fight the new legislation.